Property firm Westfield has submitted an earlier than expected planning application for the £1bn redevelopment of Croydon.

Westfield is battling with rival Hammerson to overhaul the area and Croydon Council is expected to make a decision on the winning planning application in January.

Westfield’s submission follows the demise of iconic department store Allders, which is likely to shut next week, and includes plans to bring a new department store to the town.

As part of the redevelopment Westfield would also “deliver a greater variety of size and type of shops to attract the modern retailers missing from the town” and “give local businesses the opportunities they need”.

The property firm, which owns the Westfield Stratford City and Westfield London shopping centres, said its scheme would also create over 5,000 jobs.

Westfield director of development John Burton said: “Westfield has delivered on its promise to bring forward its plans for Croydon so that regeneration can start at the earliest opportunity.

“Westfield’s application presents an ambitious but entirely achievable and viable plan for the regeneration of Croydon’s town centre. The Whitgift Centre redevelopment will be phased to ensure the current tenants can continue to trade and will have a minimal impact on the town centre whilst the scheme is implemented.”

Martin Corney, clerk to The Whitgift Foundation, the freeholders of the Whitgift Centre which will be redeveloped as part of the wider scheme, said he was “impressed” by Westfield’s early planning submission. “It’s essential that work begins on this redevelopment without further delay if the town is going to escape from the established cycle of deterioration we have witnessed over the last decade,” he said.

Hammerson is yet to formally submit its planning application.

  • Westfield also revealed today that department store chain Debenhams will be extending its shop in the proposed Broadway development in Bradford, adding a level to trade across three floors, or 117,000 sq ft.